If you have been following me on Instagram than you know all about how I have recently been on a week long road trip.
As much as I love going to the huge cities in Europe and admiring all of the history, art, and just generally getting lost with the rest of the tourists, I have recently had a burning desire to see the smaller cities and towns as well. I blame it on the combination of Disney, Pinterest and all of the "10 best small cities in Europe to visit" articles I used to read when I was dreaming about traveling.
Which is why I was so excited to rent a car with Matt and spend a week visiting small towns and quaint villages. Serious dream come true for me. Before we left we had a semi plan of where we would go but we decided to only booked hostels/hotels the night before so we weren't too tied down.
We could only go for a week (7 days, 6 nights) due to budget constraints and Matt's work schedule, but if it were up to me I would have done this for a month. I love riding trains in Europe (not more than me! - Matt) but having the freedom to go exactly where I want and stay as long as I wanted was amazing. Not to mention that there are so many tiny villages on the way to the smaller towns that we could never have reached by public transport.
Our first adventure was taking two full days to drive the Alpenstrasse (alpine road) in Germany. If you can't afford Switzerland then this road is an amazing alternative. The Bavarian alps are beautiful to admire and easy to drive through.
While on the road you also get glances of soft rolling hills, thick lush greenwoods, romantic valleys and sparkling lakes along the way. Or all four at once.
The entire road is 280 miles (450 km) and is beautiful from start to finish.
From there we made our way to Salzburg, technically not a small town we stayed there due to finding a cheap hostel the was close to Berchtesgaden (the end of the Alpenstrasse).
This is where not booking things ahead of time paid off. We originally planned to only spend the morning here and then head to Hallstatt but we ended up falling in love with Salzburg and spent the whole day there wandering and relaxing.
After Salzburg we stopped in Česky Krumlov in the Czech Republic.
It is so close to the border of Austria and Germany, making it perfectly convenient to visit evenon limited time. The small Czech town is full of cobblestones, cave restaurants and zig zag streets just begging to be wandered.
After Česky Krumlov we spent the night in Nuremberg so we were able to visit the Documentation Centre and Nazi Party Grounds for a large helping of history. The exhibition has been open since 2001 and provides a wealth of information into World War Two and the rise of the Nazi Party.
After the Documentation Centre we were off to Rothenburg, Germany.
This was easily the highlight of the trip for me. This small quaint town had me singing Disney songs and smiling from ear to ear all day. Seriously these pictures look like they were taken on a movie set.
We finished off the trip with a visit to Colmar, France.
This town always tops every list as the best small town in Europe. Although it is a close call I would give the award to Rothenburg but Colmar was gorgeous in every way as well.
We ended our trip with a short walk around Basel Switzerland as the sun was setting, before heading back to Geneva. We sat in almost 3 hours of traffic on our way back and even though stuff like that usually upsets me I couldn't have been happier sitting and reflecting on all I had seen over the past week. 1300 miles, 9 cities, and 5 countries in 7 days. Amazing.
For a more in depth breakdown of costs and map click here